An Open Doors field worker in Syria talked about an ISIS attack in 2015 that he fortunately managed to survive. The attack took place in the central part of Qamishli, a city in the far northeast of Syria.
During a walk in the city centre, he told Open Doors reporters :
“A car came from there,” he says. “Two terrorists came walking from that side. I was sitting there with my friends in front of my mobile phone store,” indicating a place to the left.
“They started shooting,” Falit continues. “All my friends [were] injured. I wasn’t, as I had thrown myself flat on the street. I laid on the street for maybe twenty minutes. Nine of my close friends were injured—three friends died.”
His tone grows sombre and respectful as he mentions the friends who were killed that day: George, Touma and Karam. “They were all shot when they tried to run away.”
“There, George lay,” Falit indicates where this friend was killed. “He was with my friend Khachik, who tried to help him. When he did so, he lay down next to George, then [the ISIS militants] shot at them. George died; eight bullets hit Khachik, but he did not die. I cannot get that scene out of my mind.”
The incident seemed to last for ages. “After about twenty minutes, some Kurdish militia and some Syrian army came from different directions to help us,” Falit remembers. “The terrorists kept on shooting and threw hand grenades. In the end, they [blew themselves up].
“I felt as if I was part of an action movie. It was very difficult. The whole time, I thought I was going to die. There wasn’t place in my mind to think of those at home waiting for me. And I prayed: I prayed. [Any] moment I felt that I would be taken to the other side; I could remember how I had lived and remembered my sins. I prayed in tears, asking Jesus to give me a new life, a life as His servant. This all happened in the first ten minutes.”
Falit noticed that he would be able to get away from where he lay. “I could get inside a shop, helping Khachik to get there together with me. He was fighting for his life. One bullet [had] entered his chest; he had difficulty breathing.”
A car in front of the shop caught fire, and thick smoke filled the building. “I gave Khachik my wet shirt to put it for his mouth,” Falit says. “I kept on saying to him: ‘Please stay alive, stay alive.’” Then there was a big explosion. I was able to get out of the shop, carrying Khachik on my back. We reached the Syrian army, and we were immediately taken to the hospital. As I was the only one of the group who wasn’t wounded, I stayed with my friends in the hospital for two days. I took care of them. Only on the third day, I finally went home.”
You can read Falit’s full testimony here.